BOE race ends Tuesday

Published 12:34 am Saturday, November 3, 2012

As Tuesday’s election draws near, candidates and many local races are working to gain those voters who remain undecided.

This week The Advance posed a series of questions to candidates for the Escambia County School Board of Education’s District 7 seat — incumbent Chuck Brooks and challenger Coleman Wallace.

What makes you qualified to hold this position?

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Wallace: “Because of my past experience of 10 years in higher education and 10 years in the classroom. I think that is the qualification to serve right there.”

Brooks: “I have been a resident of Escambia County all my life, (44 years).  I have worked as a public servant for the last 24 years.  I have always made time to hear complaints from citizens, and take pride in solving problems in a timely manner.  I love the City (Atmore) in which I live.  I attended schools in Atmore and take great pride to be called a Blue Devil.”

What is the biggest challenge facing the position you are pursuing?

Wallace: “I think my own impression is that it is not serving the student population in Atmore. If you look at the number of students who graduate and can’t do the basics in terms of math reading and science, there’s a woeful lack of quality in the education process that allows the students who come out of Atmore to end up behind.”

Brooks: “Finances.  Since being appointed to the Escambia County School Board in 2003, I have proudly stood fast in being a good steward of the board’s  finances.  Our school board is one of thirty school districts that is financially sound throughout the state. Other challenges facing the board is changing over our common core standards, such as math this year.  The board generally receives funding from the state, but due to the economic recession, the state did not give funding for textbooks.  But the board fully supported the new changes and purchased all new textbooks for the math curriculum.  Next year, the board will do the same for language art.”

What do you plan to do to face this challenge?

Wallace: “Here’s what I intend to do. I want to apply what is called the SWAT method to examine our strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats and to examine how we can best address them.”

Brooks: “The State of Alabama has projected additional funds will be released in the coming years.  We, as a school board, have to continue to spend money wisely, but at the same time, make sure our children receive the best education possible.”